Volunteering in Ecuador
With over 500 miles of coastline, the Andes mountain rage, the Amazon rainforest, and the unbelievable Galapagos Islands paired with being located directly on the Equator: you’ll be hard pressed to find a more exciting place to visit than Ecuador. Volunteering in Ecuador gives you access to all of this natural beauty in addition to 12 hours of daylight all year long and the opportunity to work with truly wonderful people. Despite its reputation as a natural wonderland, Ecuador struggles with poverty and environmental threats. Volunteering in Ecuador provides much needed support to vulnerable communities.
Fast Facts on Ecuador
Capital City: Quito
- San José is located in the northern, central part of the country
Currency: United States dollar
- Find your currency’s exchange rate here
Languages: Spanish is the official language
- Kichwa (Quichua), Shuar and others are in official use for indigenous peoples
Population (2018 estimate): 17 million
- About the same as the population of The Netherlands
Size: 109,484 square miles or 283,561 square kilometers
- About the size of Uruguay & South Korea combined
2019 Global Peace Index Ranking: 71 out of 163 nations (High)
- For comparison: USA (121 – Low), Canada (6 – Very High), United Kingdom (45 – High)
Our partner organization in Ecuador is no stranger to hosting volunteers and interns. They’ve been helping support various projects all across the country for over twenty years! Their experience and that of the host families that they work with ensures a immersive cultural experience for all that join one of their projects. As their projects are available all over Ecuador, volunteers and interns have the potential to work in different regions based on program availability.
It’s said that the most important thing you can give to a child is your time. That’s especially true for underprivileged children. Teaching in Ecuador is one of the best ways to experience local culture and make a significant impact in a short time. Even if you’ve never taught before, this project provides the perfect opportunity to help improve a child’s life and education.
Do you think little kids are the cutest thing ever? Obviously! If spending time and caring for the littlest of humans makes you absurdly happy, then this project was made for you! You’ll spend your time volunteering in Ecuador helping underprivileged kids with their communication skills and overall development. It’s guaranteed to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Dogs are pretty much the best thing ever. Sadly, not all these very good boys (and girls) have happy homes and big bowls of food to go home to. Many dogs end up abandoned, abused, or born on the streets only to live a challenging, and often, short life. Fortunately, our partner supports local shelters that take in these pups and other animals that need care. As a volunteer on this project, you’ll help with all aspects of the shelter and work towards giving the animals the attention they need to become social creatures eligible for adoption. Potential volunteers with veterinary training or experience are highly encouraged to apply, but anyone who cares about disadvantaged animals is welcome.
When an overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists agree that climate change is negatively affecting the planet, environmental conservation should be at the top of our “To Do” lists. And that’s exactly what this project is all about! Millions of people take beach vacations every year. The impact of those tourists leaves a lasting, negative impact on the local environment and wildlife. The Environmental Conservation project aims to combat that impact with the help of eco-conscious individuals volunteering in Ecuador. Why not work on your tan and help the environment at the same time? It’s a win-win!
Community Development (Construction)
Many Ecuadorian families live in substandard, overcrowded, poorly constructed homes that are barely maintaining their structural integrity; resulting in very unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. Community Development Construction Volunteering in Ecuador helps ensure more deserving families can have decent places to call home.
Community Development (Organic Farming)
Do you consider yourself to have a green thumb? Do you enjoy working with your hands and don’t mind getting a little (or a lot) dirty? The Community Development Organic Farming Volunteering in Ecuador project puts into practice ecological alternatives for agricultural production in order to preserve the environment and ecosystem. Additionally, volunteers see the (literal) fruits of their labor provide healthy food to local communities across country.
If you are a qualified healthcare professional or medical student, your skills are needed and welcome in Ecuador! Our Healthcare Volunteering in Ecuador program is designed to provide medical care for those in need. As a volunteer, you will be making a real contribution to the health system in Ecuador by assisting in a variety of medical institutions such as governmental and municipal health centers as well as in community medical organizations.
Social Work Internship
Are you a social work student looking for international experience? Our social work internship in Ecuador provides the perfect opportunity to gain experience by working with professionals to learn about social work practices. Our social work internship is aimed at giving you a well-rounded experience by allowing you to integrate into a community abroad. You will acquire skills to work with people of different ages, ethnicities, education levels, and socioeconomic statuses.
If you are a current or aspiring medical student, a medical internship in Ecuador is an exceptional opportunity to gain practical experience in a hospital setting. In addition, you’ll get a first-hand look at what medical care looks like in a developing country. As a medical intern, you’ll shadow doctors in various departments within the hospital depending on your interests and experience. Practicing physicians and clinicians are also highly encouraged to apply!
The opportunity to train in a professional setting helps students apply and expand their knowledge of Psychology and develop appropriate professional work standards. Our Psychology Internship in Ecuador is an opportunity in which students gain supervised practical experience directly related to your classroom instruction.
Our veterinary internship program is designed to provide an in-depth learning experience and offers you a chance to apply your academic knowledge in a setting that greatly benefits from your placements. Our local partner has developed relationships with veterinarian organizations, private vet clinics, and animal hospitals across Ecuador who needs extra helping hands to carry out their duties. Volunteers on the Veterinary Internship project provide substantial assistance while also furthering their knowledge of practical veterinary procedures.
|Additional weeks (each)||$150|
Included: Private/shared room in host family home • Meals (3 on weekdays, 2 on weekends & holidays) • 24/7 local support • Airport pick-up
NOT Included: Flights • Airport return • Vaccinations • Visas • Travel insurance • Extra activities • Personal expenses • Bank/wire transfer fees
For project duration not listed, please Contact Us.
All projects incur a $250 application fee. Please see the The Fine Print page for more information.
The climate of Ecuador depends completely on where you are located. GOAT Volunteers projects are placed throughout the country in various geographic regions and elevations which results in weather varying significantly between project sites.
Temperatures, humidity, and rainfall vary throughout the country with the coastal regions differing from the in-land mountainous regions. This creates a series of micro-climates across the country making each region of Ecuador different from the next in terms of weather.
Special Considerations | Volunteering in Ecuador
Please keep in mind that, while it is emerging, Ecuador is still a developing country. That means that infrastructure, amenities, and sustenance will likely differ from what you’re accustomed to. Many of the roads are dirt and in poor condition, which increases travel time. Depending on your placement, supermarkets and large stores can often be few and far between. Most shopping will be done at small, roadside shops and stalls. Meals will be basic, but tasty.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended as the disease is present in Ecuador. Consult your doctor or travel health care professional prior to traveling to Ecuador to ensure you have all necessary vaccines.
Volunteers on projects working with animals are encouraged to consider vaccination against rabies. Rabies is found on all continents except Antarctica and is fatal if not treated quickly after a exposure.
Activities available to volunteers vary by placement location. Ecuador is famous for its beaches, mountains, and national parks; so these provide a wide array of opportunities to experience the natural beauty of the country. All activities are optional and may incur additional costs to the volunteer.
For additional information, please visit our Resources page.